Dead Sea Scrolls
1. What is the Qumran-Essene hypothesis?
2. It is argued that literary evidence must be first interpreted and understood within the context of the work or corpus as a whole before it can be used in any historical argument. Why is this important? Can you illustrate your view from other fields of historical study?
3. Can one properly compare the Essenes of Josephus and the sectarians of 1QS when the first group is described in a literary work written under the conventions of Graeco-Roman historiography and for a Greek-reading audience, whilst the latter is a rulebook written in Hebrew to be used within a Jewish sectarian movement?
4. The term interpretatio hellenistica is used to describe Josephus? representation of Jewish beliefs and practices in ways that make them comprehensible to his Graeco-Roman audience. What example of this interpretatio are cited? In your reading of Josephus can you find any others?
5. De Vaux and other early scholars of Qumran and the DSSs have been criticized for their use of monastic practices in descriptions of the sectarians. Is this an instance similar to that of interpretatio hellenistica?
6. Atkinson and Magness argue that the burden of proof should rest with ?those who would insist that the Qumran?.
Who determines where the burden of proof lies and why is it thought important?
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